Actor Hugh Sheridan struggled to remember new lyrics to national anthem 

Actor Hugh Sheridan explains the ‘political relevance’ of the new lyrics to Australia’s national anthem – but admits they struggle to remember the words themselves

Hugh Sheridan has revealed how they struggled to remember the lyrics to the new national anthem, accidentally singing ‘we are young and free’ when performing it recently at an AFL match.

The Aussie singer, 37, who is non-binary and uses they/them pronouns, was speaking on The Project about  performing Advance Australia Fair at the Collingwood-Sydney final last week.

‘I was a little thrown by the “one” and “free “when I was learning,’ they explained.

Hugh Sheridan (pictured) has revealed how they struggled to remember the lyrics to the new national anthem, accidentally singing 'we are young and free' when performing it recently at an AFL match

Hugh Sheridan (pictured) has revealed how they struggled to remember the lyrics to the new national anthem, accidentally singing ‘we are young and free’ when performing it recently at an AFL match

Hugh revealed they were practising alongside Katie Noonan, who will perform at Sunday’s final in Melbourne.  

‘She was just practising backstage and she said, “young and free”. 

‘And I said, “No, it’s one”. 

Hugh added that they got ‘dozens of texts’ after performing with people confused about the lyrics.   

The Aussie singer, 37, who is non-binary and uses they/them pronouns, was speaking on The Project about performing Advance Australia Fair at the Collingwood-Sydney final last week

The Aussie singer, 37, who is non-binary and uses they/them pronouns, was speaking on The Project about performing Advance Australia Fair at the Collingwood-Sydney final last week

Australia changed a word in its national anthem on January 1 2021 after critics argued the line 'we are young and free' was disrespectful to Aboriginal history

Australia changed a word in its national anthem on January 1 2021 after critics argued the line ‘we are young and free’ was disrespectful to Aboriginal history

‘I guess it’s just people are still learning at the moment that it’s changed, but I just think the answer is so beautiful. I actually love the second verse and I think that we should actually incorporate that’ they said. 

Hugh added that the new lyrics are important and have ‘political relevance’. 

‘I think that is important, as the way that Australia was set up and we did come, many of us, from across the seas and it is something to think about when we think about our land,’ they said. 

Australia changed a word in its national anthem on January 1 2021 after critics argued the line ‘we are young and free’ was disrespectful to Aboriginal history. 

'I think that is important, as the way that Australia was set up and we did come, many of us, from across the seas and it is something to think about when we think about our land,' Hugh said

‘I think that is important, as the way that Australia was set up and we did come, many of us, from across the seas and it is something to think about when we think about our land,’ Hugh said

Critics have long claimed that describing Australia as a ‘young nation’ overlooks the fact that Aboriginal people have lived on the continent for centuries.

Then Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on New Year’s Eve 2020  that the second line of the anthem, Advance Australia Fair, had been changed from ‘for we are young and free’ to ‘for we are one and free’.

‘While Australia as a modern nation may be relatively young, our country’s story is ancient, as are the stories of the many First Nations peoples whose stewardship we rightly acknowledge and respect,’ Mr Morrison said.

AUSTRALIA’S NATIONAL ANTHEM

Advance Australia Fair was chosen as the de facto national anthem in a 1977 plebiscite by just over 8.4 million voters who picked the song over God Save the Queen, Waltzing Matilda and Song of Australia. 

It was officially adopted as the national anthem on April 19, 1984 on the recommendation of the federal government.

The song was composed by the Scottish-born Peter Dodds McCormick, first performed in 1878 and was sung in Australia as a patriotic song.

 

CURRENT LYRICS:

Australians all let us rejoice

For we are one and free

We’ve golden soil and wealth for toil

Our home is girt by sea

Our land abounds in nature’s gifts

Of beauty, rich and rare

In history’s page let every stage

Advance Australia fair

In joyful strains then let us sing

Advance Australia fair

 

Beneath our radiant Southern Cross

We’ll toil with hearts and hands

To make this Commonwealth of ours

Renowned of all the lands

For those who’ve across the seas

We’ve boundless plains to share

With courage let us all combine

To advance Australia fair

In joyful strains then let us sing

Advance Australia fair

 

RECOGNITION IN ANTHEM PROPOSED SECOND AND THIRD VERSES:

Verse 2 – Our People

For sixty thousand years and more

First peoples of this land

Sustained by Country, Dreaming told

By song and artist’s hand.

Unite our cultures from afar

In peace with those first here

To walk together on this soil

Respect for all grows there.

From everywhere on Earth we sing, Advance Australia Fair.

 

Verse 3 – Our Values

In times of drought and flood and fire

When all but hope is gone

Australians join with helping hands

And wattle blooms again.

Tomorrow may this timeless land

Live for our young to share

From red-rock heart to sun-filled shore

Our country free and fair.

Beneath the Southern Cross we sing, Advance Australia Fair.

Beneath the Southern Cross we sing, Advance Australia Fair.  

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